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Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Michigan for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, what turned out to be a silly exercise has suddenly turned into an insane exercise. We find ourselves, for the 40th time in the House of Representatives, debating repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

We understand they don't like it. But I beseech my colleagues on the other side to start working with us to improve a system that's in desperate need of reform, and make changes and adjustments along the way as we learn what's working and what isn't. That's the only way this can work.

But let me just inject a few facts into this debate, especially for the benefit of the previous speaker. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, U.S. health care spending grew at 3.9 percent for the last 3 years, the lowest growth rate in over 50 years.

Medicare per beneficiary spending rose just 0.4 percent last year, the lowest rate since it was created in 1965. Medicaid per beneficiary spending dropped by 1.9 percent in 2012. And according to the Congressional Budget Office, Medicare and Medicaid will now spend $1 trillion less over the next 10 years than previously projected.

Nearly $15 billion in fraudulent Medicare payments have been recovered and recaptured under the Affordable Care Act. Hospital readmissions under Medicare have fallen for the first time on record, resulting in 70,000 fewer readmissions in the second half of last year alone.

And more than 250 new Accountable Care Organizations, under the Affordable Care Act, serving over 4 million Medicare beneficiary enrollees are getting paid now according to the quality of health care being delivered, and no longer the quantity of services being rendered.

Finally, the growth in private plan premiums has also slowed, Mr. Speaker. Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health care increased by only 4 percent in 2012, the smallest increase in the last 13 years.

We still have more work to do, but this debate and effort to delay and to defund and to dismantle and to destroy the Affordable Care Act is not where we need to go as a nation.

I encourage my colleagues to once again vote ``no'' on this ill-conceived legislation.

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